Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching

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PostLiam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Dowbocop » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:00 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-47138980

Can't see a thread on it so thought it might be interesting to discuss. Link above, tl;dr whilst discussing revenge doing a film promo Liam Neeson confessed that when his friend got raped by a black man decades ago, he tooled up and went around a black area hoping for a kick off so he could take revenge on a random black person.

Obviously his actions back in the day were wrong and displayed racist beliefs and behaviour, which were in no way excused by the fact that his friend's rapist was black. However, whilst I understand the abhorrence towards his confession by people now understandable (writing it just then was surprisingly uncomfortable actually), it seems to me that Neeson realised his behaviour was wrong very soon after he began it and accepted the error of his ways (again, not wanting to mitigate his actions but he would have been coming to terms with pretty strong feelings of grief and anger, which take time to control). When you see people saying he'll never work again it makes you wonder where the space actually is nowadays for the reconstitution and rehabilitation of individuals and society, which is surely the whole point of the civil rights/feminist/social justice movements.

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by OrangeRKN » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:06 pm

It's a bit messed up, and super weird how he brought it up as he did.

I hope he realises how wrong both racism and vigilantism are, but idk I don't know the man

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Preezy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:08 pm

Turns out his very particular set of skills were whacking black fellas over the head with a conch.

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Hexx » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:23 pm

I get the intent behind his message (I think) but it was communicated very very very very badly and a very very very very odd time.


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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Tafdolphin » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:25 pm

There's a lot to unpack, no doubt.

No-one's debating whether his previous actions were racist I don't think. They clearly were. The issue is, as Dowbo brings up, the idea of rehabilitation.

My own views are that we're not at that stage as yet. Firstly, Neeson's comments when viewed in context are monumentally stupid. Not since Kevin Spacey used his coming out as some sort of defence against sexual assault has there been a celebrity who has planted their foot so wrongly. This was a completely unforced error; one of my central issues with the comments was that Neeson, on some level, thought this story was an appropriate this to say in order to market a movie. Because that's what he was doing; using a racist story to illustrate his similarity to the revenge seeking character he is once again playing.

Secondly, as far as I know he's not apologised. He used an appearance on GMA to state he's not a racist while not really apologising for being racist. He's not apologised for bringing the story up, more importantly, nor admitted how utterly inappropriate that was. He's admitted his actions were racist, but he hasn't come out and said sorry for dragging them up. Rehabilitation can only occur once sought, and as far as I can see Neeson hasn't reached out for it yet.

Then there's this:

Neeson clarified that he asked his loved one about the rapist's other attributes – besides race – and said that if she had been assaulted by a white man, he would've have the same reaction.

"If she has said an Irish, or a Scot, or a Brit, or a Lithuanian, I know I would've felt the same effect. I was trying to... stand up for my dear friend in this terrible medieval fashion.


This is a classic case of misunderstanding what racism actually is and how it's different to, for example, calling white old men 'gammon.' None of the groups he mentions, well first off none of them are races they're nationalities, but none of them have a cultural and historical record of discrimination against them. Generally, and this is very generally, when people talk about European nationalities the way Neeson is here they're referring to white people and white people are the oppressors not the oppressed. Trying to wheedle out of racist comments by saying "I'd have done it to a white man too!" is not only stretching believability but it's an ignorant comparison to make.

And again, in the GMA interview the fact that he was able to just spout this racist story in, what he thought at the time, was a PR interview, is not mentioned. On some level, he thought it was acceptable to admit he once wanted to kill a black man, any black man. Even admitting that these actions were wrong is moot as the words were still said.

It's a big old bowl of stupidity and ignorance, and he's got a long way to go before people are going to forget this I think.

Also, apropos of nothing, my utter disagreement with almost everything RockPaperShotgun's John Walker says continues:




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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Moggy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:30 pm

There’s zero doubt that he was a racist. It’s not clear if he still is.

It’s a thoroughly stupid thing to have said.

Even ignoring the racism and the willingness to kill an innocent person, he also didn’t really display much remorse for his friend, he made it all about himself when it was the friend who suffered the assault.

Dickhead.

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Moggy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:40 pm



:lol:

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Dig Dug » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:51 pm

John Barnes had a very interesting take on the whole thing.


I think Neeson has failed to understand why this story has turned heads but at the same time I'm not shocked that a 66 year-old white man has misunderstandings about racism to the degree where he thinks the main moral issue that needs addressing in his story was the violent urge. Racism is not historical, it's still normalised to the degree that Neeson himself seemed to overlook that aspect of the story even with 4 decades of hindsight on his side.

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Moggy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:58 pm

66 might sound old but he was born in 1952, not 1852. Somebody who was 28 in 1980 isn’t somebody from the dim and dark past.

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Saint of Killers » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:58 pm

Preezy wrote:Turns out his very particular set of skills were whacking black fellas over the head with a conch.


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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Rex Kramer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:12 pm

I can't move past thinking this is some kind of bizarre way to try and sell a movie that has backfired spectacularly.

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Jenuall » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:16 pm

Oh Qui-Gon. :fp:

"He is the racist one, you must see it!"

Nothing really to add to the discussion, it was a truly stupid thing to say and it's hard to see anything other than racism being the driving factor behind his actions.

Also indicates that he has serious anger management issues and a really strawberry floated up sense of justice if his response to a crime being committed by one person is to go out and try to murder anyone who shares a characteristic with them.

"My friend was attacked by a man last night."

"What did he look like?"

"Dunno, he had brown hair?"

"Death to all brunettes!!!"

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Moggy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:20 pm

“Who did it?”

“A very tall Irish sounding man”

“gooseberry fool” *kills himself*

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Ad7 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:32 pm

Woman: My boyfriend isn't home. He's in next door's garden.

Liam: I don't care

Woman: he's black

Liam:
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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by captain red dog » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:34 pm

There is a lot to unpack here. It happened 40 years ago and he admits his behaviour was disgusting and that he got help and moved past it. Surely the message to take from that is that racists can actually change?

He highlighted the issue that racism can hide in all of us, which I tend to agree with. However we can't then castigate someone for being open and honest about their racist or violent past, when all the evidence is that they never acted on those issues and have lived a life that suggests they have changed.

I will say that bringing this up in the way he did to promote a movie was incredibly crass and dumb. I'd like to think he did that to raise the issue of racism being a part of everyone, but suspect this was more of an attempt to bring legitimacy to his performance or something stupid like that.

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Floex » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:39 pm

Ad7 wrote:Woman: My boyfriend isn't home. He's in next door's garden.

Liam: I don't care

Woman: he's black

Liam:
Image


LMAO :lol: :lol:

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Moggy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:39 pm

captain red dog wrote:There is a lot to unpack here. It happened 40 years ago and he admits his behaviour was disgusting and that he got help and moved past it. Surely the message to take from that is that racists can actually change?

He highlighted the issue that racism can hide in all of us, which I tend to agree with. However we can't then castigate someone for being open and honest about their racist or violent past, when all the evidence is that they never acted on those issues and have lived a life that suggests they have changed.

I will say that bringing this up in the way he did to promote a movie was incredibly crass and dumb. I'd like to think he did that to raise the issue of racism being a part of everyone, but suspect this was more of an attempt to bring legitimacy to his performance or something stupid like that.


Has he lived a life that suggests he’s changed?

His story was that he was going to murder an innocent person just because they shared a skin colour with somebody else. He then said he’s realised that revenge isn’t a good thing. He didn’t say anything about being a racist twat.

He may well not be racist now and that’s great, have a big pat on the back Liam! But it’s an odd story to bring up in the way he did.

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Wrathy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:42 pm

I'm from a similar area of Northern Ireland as Liam Neeson (Portrush, about 30 to 40 minutes north of Ballymena) and grew up about 4 decades later.

I had one Chinese friend and at school there were *maybe* five children who weren't from white backgrounds. Out of 800. It wasn't until I went to University at the age of 18 that I could say accurately that I knew anyone who was black.

It doesn't surprise me that as a young man from a generation or two ahead of me, Liam handled race relations with a total lack of decorum. Not to justify it but I think what he said, in reflecting on his past failings and making an effort to put it behind him and grow as a person, is at least a decent attempt at becoming a better person.

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Mafro » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:42 pm

Good job, Liam!

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PostRe: Liam Neeson's dalliance with lynching
by Qikz » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:43 pm

I don't think Liam Neeson should be punished here for sadly reacting in a way that society of the time almost encouraged. There is systematic racism to the point that people view all people of a certain race or religion with the same brush. What he did was wrong, but he acted in anger and later realised hey wait a second this is strawberry floating stupid. It's not like he went out to do it and kept doing it, he admitted he was wrong and apologised which is a lot more than many people will ever do. He changed his ways when he realised how bad it was what he was thinking of doing and vowed to never make that mistake again.

The media of the time and even the media of today help spread these kinds of biggoted views and something needs to be done to stop it and people like Neeson admitting what many people refuse to even acknowledge in themselves is a step towards making the world a better place for everyone.

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